So last weekend I made the trip up to sunny Stockport to take part in the WM/H UK Nationals. It’s been a while since I went to a big WM/H event, the last being the penultimate ETC held at Maelstrom games, yes that long ago.

I can’t really put my finger on why I decided to go this year, but spoiler alert, I’m glad I did.

The first positive is that I set myself the goal of only using painted models, and picked lists that needed new stuff painting. I may have been putting flock on bases and painting sight lines on Friday evening in the hotel but I managed to meet my goal. This includes getting my throne painted, so it will see more table time for sure.

The event was three lists, with each list having to be played at least once. I’m torn on this format. I think I generally prefer two lists, but three wasn’t so bad. It just increased the number of things I didn’t know in my opponents lists really.

I took :-

Thagrosh, Prophet of Everblight (Oracles of Annihilation)
Carnivean
Scythean
Nephilim Protector
Typhon
Throne of Everblight
2 x Blighted Nyss Sorceress on Helion
Blighted Nyss Shepherd
Blighted Nyss Hex Hunters with Bayal, Hound of Everblight

Absylonia, Daughter of Everblight (Oracles of Annihilation)
Seraph
Scythean
Carnivean
Angelius
Raek
Naga Nightlurker
2 x Blighted Nyss Sorceress on Helion
Blighted Nys Hex Hunters with Bayal, Hound of Everblight

Rhyas , Sigil of Everblight (Children of the Dragon)
Succubus
Zuriel
Azreal
Nephilim Protector
Blighted Nyss Warlord
Beast Mistress
Shredder
Shredder
Shredder
Blighted Nyss Swordsmen with Abbot and Champion
Blighted Nyss Hex Hunters with Bayal, Hound of Everblight

So yes all themed lists. To be honest I’m getting used to the idea that the game is now played in themes. There were players with lists out of theme at the event, but I think that was because they way they needed the list to play it wouldn’t fit in a theme. Privateer have stated that by the end of the year all models will fit in a theme, so next year I expect all lists will be themed.

I had loose plans for the lists. Absy was my heavy armour cracker, Thags if I need plenty of magical attacks and Rhyas for the rest. Though I can’t say I stuck with this idea when picking match ups!

My trip up was actually a pleasant one, I left just after lunch and the satnav (thanks Waze) decided that motorways weren’t fun and took my up the A roads. This meant a trip along the A515 through the southern peak district. With a mix of sun and rain the views as I drove were stunning. I love the soft yet rugged nature of the peaks, and mix in valley views with rainbows it doesn’t get much better. Really set my mind into a positive state for the weekend I think.

As I was staying close to the North West Gaming centre I had planned to walk there Saturday morning, however the default Manchester weather changed that plan as it was chucking it down, so driving was the way to go, or drown on the way!

This was my first visit to the NWGC. Now I’ve heard some horror stories about the venue, albeit from a few years back. I have to say it is now a top notch venue. With 128ish gamers in attendance there is always going to be pinch points space wise, but overall I think there was plenty of space between and around tables. It was a little warm, and I imagine tournaments on a sunny August day may get a bit sweaty, but nothing too extreme. One of the biggest issues with gaming venues tends to be the toilets, something few have got right. I have to say the facilities at the NWGC are good, they were clean all weekend just the asthmatic hand dryer to improve really. I’m sure you all appreciator the facilities update!

Organisation wise the event ran very smoothly as far as I could tell, with both days running pretty much to schedule. The PA could have been louder, but it was fine once everyone stopped talking to listen to any announcements.

The raffle were every player got some bling was nice. At check in you were given a ticket, and batches of ten were called out randomly to go pick from the pool of stuff. All the packs were sealed boxes or bags, so you had no idea what was in them. Early pickers went with the biggest is best policy, which worked as I saw at least three players with new colossals or gargantuans. My own haul was a pin of some variety, a rebel alliance can cooler, and a Khador extreme Juggernaut. A nice touch and with players getting called in batches of ten took no time at all to get through.

Food each day was subway platters at lunch, with a muffin in between the last games of each day, which doesn’t sound spectacular but did the job. Drink prices were good at the venue so no problems with their policy of no outside food or drinks. I think this is fair as they have spent a good sum of money getting the venue up to the standard it is.

So from this point of view a big thumbs up for the weekend, next time on to the games.

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Britcon 2017

Posted: August 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

The weekend just gone featured my favourite watgammimg weekend each year, Britcon.

Six games, over three days with armies at four thousand points is what makes this event the marathon of EpicA tournaments. Couple that with four EpicUK champions in a field of eight and you have a tough weekend of games.

I took my tyranids once more, and my list can be seen here – http://epic-uk.co.uk/ukepicachampionship/pax.php?pid=1&tid=101

The list did feel an activation light, but with my BTS Dominatrix swarm being fifteen DC strong I felt it fairly save against most armies, if played sensibly.

With eight players we play round robin, with one round removed. Players are ranked on championship standings and the 1v8 round removed. It seems to work and makes sure there are no duplicate match ups if we used Swiss.

once the lists were in I was pretty happy that my seeding meant I wouldn’t play Tim with Necrons. I struggle with nids v crons!

My games were :-

Round One – Steve with Ulthwe – Draw
This game was pretty cagey, I basically ran my BTS forward and hid it on a take and hold objective. I did get lucky in an assault I had no right winning, and criticaled the second vampire full of guardians. There wasn’t enough activation’s left on either side to claim a victory.

Round Two – Joe with Codex Marines – Loss
This game began a run of legendary assaults by my genestealer units. Mid turn one Joe flew in some terminators to firefight one genestealer formation, they shot, didn’t kill anything and promptly lost the combat roll off by two! So one dead thunderhawk and one dead Terminator. Still Joe played very well, and left me no way back from a 2-1 loss.

Round Three – Glyn with AMTL – Win
Glyn made two rather crucial errors in this game. First he elected to play corners. I understand he wanted to take advantage of his massive gun range advantage, but in truth I was never going to push hard at his titans. Nids have only one TK weapon in the game, and it wasn’t in my list. The genestealers did some more heroics, they assaulted one Warlord Titan, managing two wounds and critical, sadly the titan survived. The other error was costly for  Glyn, when in turn four he moved his blitz guard titan off the blitz to shoot at my small dominatrix formation. Unfortunately he missed I had a harridan yet to activate, who marched to claim his blitz and win me the game.

Round Four – Tom with Blood Angels – Win
Game four at Britcon is the toughest game mentally. It’s been a long day and it’s easy to make mistakes in this game. So it was in this game. Tom and I moved around the board cautiously, both taking damage and dishing it out. Tom landed a thunderhawk to make sure I didn’t win on turn three, but for some reason didn’t repeat this in turn four, gifting me a win by not contesting his blitz or take and hold objectives.

Round Five – Mike with Krieg – Draw
I hate Krieg, a rolling wall of super heavy transport and a sea of infantry. After trivially removing both my harridans I saw no way back for me in the game so I went ultra defensive, and this looked doomed as turn three ground out. The only saving grace was I got to go first turn four and managed to smash the hammer blow assault that was coming in before Mike got to use it. So a rare draw for me v Krieg.

Round Six – Richard with Tau – Loss
So my genestealers went mental in this game, they won at least three engagements when they got to throw no dice! Still Richard stuck to his task and slowly dismantled my army so he could take a deserved 2-0 victory in four turns. Tau are a tough match as they have the AT firepower to take down the nid war engines and the AP shooting to remove the swarms at will.

After the dust settled I came in fifth, which I’m happy with.

Six really fun, tough games of Epic A over the weekend. I still rank Britcon as my favorite event of the year.

And yes, plenty of fizz as I spent my journey home plotting new lists and new armies, so all is good in the Epic world.

When the fizz is gone…

Posted: August 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

A week or two back I tweeted that I was pretty much done with Guild ball. Some people queried why, so I answered in the 140 characters I was allowed. Now here is the longer more winding response.

I’m sure I’m  not alone in experiencing what I shall call fizz at the end of a game or tournament. It’s the mind running at 100 mph with all the what if’s, how do I do better, what can I buy thoughts that gaming inspires.

After most games, win, lose or draw, I experience that fizz. I review the game, what worked and what didn’t. The what might have been had I played things differently and what I should do next time I encounter similar decision points.

After tournament weekends I spend a lot of time considering new options for units and armies. If I have companions on the journey home the discussions generally follow the same pattern, games are discussed, tactics dissected and new directions speculated upon.

This hasn’t been happening for me with Guild Ball for a while now.

I’ve been playing Guild Ball since the Kickstarter. I probably started playing beta games back in April 2013, and haven’t really stopped since.

Recently I’ve been playing in a league , and I switched guilds to union to take a break from the Alchemists I’ve played pretty solidly since the Kickstarter shipped. I thought regular games would spur me on to paint enough to use them at an event.

It started out well, the first two games I played I tinkered with my line up, built the few models I hadn’t and undercoated them all. Some even progressed to base layers. I did manage to paint the mascot coin, but even that model isn’t based properly yet.

I also found myself just using the same line up repeatedly. I would play, have fun, and put the stuff back in the case. No thoughts of what next, no opening of the app and considering alternative builds. No fizz.

The slide back towards 40K probably hasn’t helped, as my theory gaming time seems to have become split between that and Warmachine/Hordes. I am regularly tinkering with lists for both, and building models.

All that said there was a final nail in the coffin, it was the latest model errata for Guild ball.

I can’t quite put my finger on why this is the case, but it is. I’m sure many would say it’s the Midas changes, but he changes every errata so having to relearn Midas every time is the norm. Until recently I hadn’t even played Midas in season three. Having done so he probably was a bit too good, but then again so are plenty of players. Blackheart is every bit as good at scoring as Midas, probably generating more momentum along the way too.

Another thing that struck me was that the errata came out of left field. Now I haven’t been keeping current with the goings on of Guild Ball, so I thought I might has missed some news. Having asked other players that are more engaged they seemed to say it wasn’t really announced, more hinted at. This feels strange for a company that has always been very upfront, and not inline with most other mini companies these days, even the big elephant in the room.

So I have one more game of Guild Ball arranged, ironically the playoff final for our local league. I should be pushing to get the team painted for that, but I already know that both WM/H or 40K models will see time on the painting table before they do.

It’s very odd, when you go flat on a game that you frothed over just a short time ago. Still I think it’s best to put the models on the shelf, turn towards the new shinny and move forward.

Guild Ball’s time in the sun will return to me at some point I’m sure, when that will be, only time will.

See, I can’t even find a bit of fizz to pep up the end of this post!